Compensable Injury – Defined

When someone is hurt on the job, say a crate falls on their foot, or they suffer hearing loss from operating loud machinery every day, that injury falls into a separate category known as a compensable injury. These are injuries and illnesses that happen while performing duties for an employer, and they can qualify that employee for worker’s compensation benefits.

One would think any injury that happens at work is compensable. But that simply isn’t true. Worker’s compensation laws differ in each state and are complicated. Claims must meet certain qualifications before an employer will pay the benefits.

Below is a quick breakdown of what we mean by that.

Note: While Nelson Law Group PC does not handle worker’s compensation claims, we pride ourselves on being a referral source for any legal need. You can file a WC claim here. You can also visit the state bar of Texas lawyer referral service.

What type of injuries or illnesses can be considered a compensable injury?

There are several examples in the workplace where employees can be injured or fall ill. And it doesn’t have to be in a setting where strenuous labor is being performed. Workers who sit in an office cubicle behind a computer can fall victim to occupational hazards they have no control over just as easily as a waitress can suffer irreparable damage to her wrist from carrying around heavy trays, or a construction worker can fall off a scaffold and break his leg.

Examples of a compensable injury include but are not limited to:

  • Repetitive stress injuries (ex: back, knee, and shoulder pain, broken bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.)
  • Mental stress (ex: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, emotional distress, etc.)
  • Occupational illnesses (ex: heat stroke, exposure to harmful chemicals, hearing loss, etc.)
  • Fatality (ex: car accidents, slips and falls, equipment-related death, etc.)

Worker’s compensation helps cover medical, rehabilitation, and disability expenses so that employees do not have to pay out of pocket to seek treatment for those compensable injuries. It also protects business owners from shouldering the liability for an employee’s workplace injury. Worker’s comp also provides death benefits to an employee’s family.

However … not everything is considered a compensable injury

Believe it or not, there are situations where an employee believes they have a compensable injury only to find out that it does not meet the qualifications, thus eliminating the potential of their worker’s compensation claim being approved.

To be considered compensable, an injury must not:

  1. Be pre-existing or caused by horsing around or fighting
  2. Be the direct result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  3. Have happened while participating in voluntary, unsponsored work gathering
  4. Have happened while commuting to or from work in a private vehicle and not engaged in work activity
  5. Be related to a pre-existing underlying health condition

Only injuries and illnesses related to workplace accidents or incidents are considered compensable.

Call Nelson Law Group Today!!

It is a good idea to talk to a qualified personal injury lawyer about your situation. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this issue.

Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A. Nelson, click here.

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Source: Nelson Law Group

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